P1 Nitijela keeps per diem for absentees Nitijela September 30 killed a bill which would have cut off per diem for members who are absent without an excuse. Bill sponsor Lae Senator Jimmy Akeang said he introduced the bill for Nitijela’s own good.
P2 Nitijela confirms Yoda Nysta Public Service Commissioner Yoda Nysta was confirmed for a new three-year term by a 13-10 vote after much defense.
P5 He’s back Dado Guaschino has apparently gone into hiding lately, last known siting was in a white sedan heading toward Long Island. But never mind his absence, we have a new personality to replace the reptilian Milanese. This time, it’s Tom Panholzer, back in Majuro after several years’ absence. Tom will be staying in the capital with his wife Maryallen Manuel and will resume his old post of editor of the Journal.
P6 New Auditor General heads all-woman office With the recent hiring of Susan Thompson as the Auditor General, the Auditor General’s office can now boast that it is headed and completely staffed by women — a rarity even in this day and age.
P10 Bikinians want land payment The 1,800 Bikini Islanders have field a class action claim for land damages with the Nuclear Claims Tribunal. Their petition, filed last week, follows the filing of similar claims by Rongelap and Enewetak islanders.
P10 Rats threaten turtle eggs on Taongi The government’s top fisheries officer is worried that one of the nation’s prime turtle breeding grounds is being destroyed by egg-hunting rats. A Hawaii rodent control company has offered to come and eradicate the nocturnal animals on the northern atoll of Taongi (Bokak), said Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority Director Danny Wase. To date, turtles tagged in the Marshalls have been found in Tonga and Tahiti in the South Pacific, he said.
P14 $2.4m in loans ‘doubtful’ The Marshall Islands Development Bank issued more than $16 million in loans during 1992, according to the current Auditor General’s report to Nitijela. About 15 percent ($2.4 million) of the loans are considered “doubtful” and are unlikely to be paid back.
P15 ‘Inconveniences’ not problems A 20-year veteran of the Marines, who pulled two tours of duty in Vietnam, including working with the Special Forces, is the new police commissioner at the helm of the Public Safety Department in Majuro. Norman Jennings took over last week, ending 17 years as a Virginia-based private investigator and an international hunter of bail jumpers. “I was tired of chasing drug addicts all over the US,” Jennings said of his interest in coming to the Marshalls.
P2 Booze blues More than three-fourths of all offenses reported to the national and local police in Majuro during 2003 were alcohol-related, the RMI’s 2003 Statistical Yearbook issued this week. Of the 2,578 offenses, 1,947 were for drunken disorderly/disturbing the peace.
P3 CMI money to come from new taxes Nitijela voted 26-1 Friday to increase tax on beer and colas by 100 percent for the benefit of the College of the Marshall Islands. The amendment hikes the tax on beer from 25 to 50 cents per 12oz can.
P6 Alik: Do your homework Majuro Senator Alik Alik delivered a scathing attack during a Nitijela budget hearing on government ministries and agencies that seek funding but do not offer justification for the funds or report on completion of past projects.